Find a Real Friend in Jesus: Ten Amazingly Easy Steps by Gary Zimak could as easily have been titled “The Catholic Guide to a Personal Relationship with Jesus.” Catholics often think of a personal relationship with Jesus as a Protestant idea, but Jesus wants to be close to all of us and not just in our times of need. Jesus “wants us to turn to him when we’re not in trouble. . . . Once you start speaking to him more and spending time in his presence, he will share more of himself with you.” Jesus is always there waiting, but “he will not force himself into our lives. It is up to us to answer the door and invite him in.”
Zimak offers a roadmap of how to invite Jesus into our lives. He begins by discussing the elements of an personal relationship. These include things such as self-sacrifice, commitment, honesty, time together, admitting mistakes, and having a sense of humor. He then discusses how much God loves us and the Jesus wants and is able to be our best best friend. “Jesus desires our love.”
He then lists the “ten steps that will change your life,” the ten ways to cultivate a relationship with Jesus within a Catholic framework. Some topics include getting over the roadblock of not being able to physically see Jesus, the importance of listening to what the Church has to say, the value of prayer and the sacraments, the need to read the Bible, why Eucharistic adoration matters, and how to love our neighbor. Each chapter includes useful summaries recapping the important points of that section.
Zimak, a full-time Catholic evangelist and author, has a great enthusiasm for Jesus that comes through on every page. He wants others to discover the joy that he has found in cultivating a relationship with Jesus, a life-long process. If one follows the steps outlined in Find a Real Friend in Jesus, one is sure to develop a better understanding and closeness to Jesus. The more we turn our lives over to Jesus, the more our lives will change for the better, and the more we will become more Christlike. It is a goal worth striving for.